Michigan State Football: Top 3 Heisman candidates for 2015

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Oct 12, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans defensive end Shilique Calhoun (89) stands on field in game against Indiana Hoosiers during the first half in a game at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan State football season is just about two and a half months away and the Spartans are considered one of the top teams in the nation. Most major publications have ranked the Spartans in the top five in college football, but there are some that don’t want to give MSU too much credit despite 24 wins in the past two seasons.

There’s plenty of talent returning to the reigning Cotton Bowl champions, but losing guys like Trae Waynes and Kurtis Drummond on defense as well as Tony Lippett and Jeremy Langford on offense might hurt just a bit.

Unlike the Spartans of old, Mark Dantonio’s teams don’t rebuild from year to year, they reload. This year is no exception as the Spartans will have guys like Montae Nicholson, Demetrious Cox, Madre London, Gerald Holmes, Larry Scott, DeAnthony Arnett and Aaron Burbridge who will fill the once-vacant positions.

Michigan State is going to have to depend on some young first-year starters to get the job done this season in hopes of making the second annual College Football Playoff that they narrowly missed out on in 2014.

However, some games might cause a bit of a problem for the Spartans in 2015. Playing at Ohio State and home against Oregon this season will be huge tests for MSU, but the early-season home game against the Ducks could help the Spartans prepare for the Buckeyes mid-season.

With a loaded roster returning for Michigan State, that means there are a few Heisman contenders on the roster and, while most Heisman winners are on the offensive side of things, there is one Spartan defender who could enter the conversation.

Let’s take a look at the Spartans’ top-three Heisman contenders for 2015.

Next: 3. Larry Scott/Madre London, RB